After emerging from HMP Belmarsh following a nine-week stint behind bars, Tommy Robinson visited the barber to tidy up his scruffy appearance.
A bearded Tommy Robinson treated himself to a McDonald’s and joked ‘First stop, hairdressers’ after he was released from prison today, having served nine weeks for contempt of court.
The disheveled EDL founder was seen sporting a beard and hair longer than he typically wears as he was met by supporters outside the south-east London prison.
The disheveled EDL founder visited the barbers after emerging from HMP Belmarsh today
Robinson visited the barber and had his hair and beard trimmed after a nine-week stint in prison
Robinson, real name Stephen Yaxley Lennon, emerged from the barber clean-shaven with shorter hair.
The transition was live-streamed and uploaded to the Rebel Media YouTube channel, where Robinson was filmed joking that he did not know how red his hair was, vowing to stop ‘bantering ginger people’ from now on.
Robinson said his usual haircut was the same he has had since he was in year eight in school – short back and sides.
Photographs and video posted on social media showed Robinson smiling and laughing as he walked free earlier, after serving just two months of a nine month sentence, reduced to 19 weeks because of time served.
Robinson was filmed joking that he did not know how red his hair was, vowing to stop ‘bantering ginger people’ from now on
Robinson said his usual haircut was the same he has had since he was in year eight in school – short back and sides
The anti-Islam campaigner joked about visiting a barbers as he grabbed his beard and said: ‘I know I look a mess – have fun with your memes!’
Minutes later Robinson was pictured tucking into a McDonalds burger and drink after he was driven away from prison by his supporters.
During an interview moments after he left the prison gates, he was asked about his time in prison, in which he claimed he was held in solitary confinement, saying: ‘Here’s the crazy thing.
‘I walked into Belmarsh prison and walked out, without seeing another prisoner, for my safety.’ They would have (killed me).’
He said he had been sent 14 sacks of mail from supporters while in prison.
A smiling Tommy Robinson was later pictured tucking into a McDonald’s burger and drink as he say in a car
Bearded Tommy Robinson has been released from prison after serving nine weeks behind bars for contempt of court
He then immediately began ranting about his sentence – claiming it was an ’embarrassment against the government’.
Robinson was jailed in July for live-streaming a video which featured defendants in an Asian sex grooming trial and put the case at risk of collapse.
He has spent nine weeks in the Category A prison where he was held in solitary confinement and complained he was like a ‘caged animal’.
The time he previously spent behind bars for the contempt charge was taken into account when he was sentenced, reducing his nine month sentence to 19 weeks – of which he would serve half before being released.
Supporters had gathered outside the prison, including a man who tweeted photos of the scene and wrote: ‘At #Belmarsh to collect #TommyRobinson.’
It emerged last night that he had been staying in the same cell that once housed Michael Adebolajo – who brutally hacked off-duty soldier Lee Rigby to death in South-East London in 2013.
In a video taken after he merged from the prison he said: ‘First stop, hairdressers’
The 36-year-old English Defence League founder is pictured, arriving for his sentencing at the Old Bailey in July
Breitbart News reported that Robinson was confined to his cell from 11am every day, and only let out of solitary confinement for an hour every morning which he spent ‘trudging around a grim prison yard’.
Why Tommy Robinson was found in contempt of court and what it means
Why was Tommy Robinson jailed in May 2018?
Tommy Robinson was jailed in May 2018 after a judge at Leeds Crown Court found him in contempt of court.
He had filmed a video, which was live-streamed on Facebook and lasted for about an hour and a half, where he discussed a trial of members of a Huddersfield grooming gang.
The trial was covered by a reporting restriction banning publication of any details until after the end of several linked trials.
The video was viewed 250,000 times on the morning of the broadcast.
Judge Geoffrey Marson QC jailed Robinson for 13 months, within five hours of the video being filmed.
He was previously given a suspended sentence for contempt at Canterbury Crown Court, when a judge told him it was likely he would go to prison if he engaged in similar conduct in future.
What is contempt of court?
Contempt of court law exists to ensure the fairness and integrity of criminal trials.
Where a judge believes there is a ‘substantial risk of serious prejudice’ to a defendant, an order may be made under the Contempt of Court Act which postpones the reporting of a trial until its conclusion.
When making such an order, a judge has to balance the interests of justice in a fair trial taking place with other interests – including free speech and open justice.
In most cases where someone is alleged to be in contempt of court, the matter will be referred to the Attorney General.
He was also allowed another hour in the cell next door to his where he used an exercise bike. He was also permitted to visit the prison gym.
The arrangement, it is claimed, was for his own safety.
There are concerns he may have been targeted by other inmates at the prison should he be let out. His window is also kept closed, after excrement was reportedly thrown through it.
His latest stint marks the second time he’s found himself in prison for contempt of court.
He was jailed for 13 months after he filmed defendants during the trial of the sexual exploitation of girls at Leeds Crown Court Trial in 2018.
He eventually got out on appeal, and after his release said he’d been the victim of a ‘kangaroo court’ and complained he had lost ‘nearly 40lb’ in prison after living on a diet of one tin of tuna and a piece of fruit a day.
Ezra Levant, the editor of far-right publication Rebel Media, has also visited Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon, in prison.
The Canadian media mogul claimed Robinson is being kept in a High Security Unit – accommodation which is usually reserved for ‘Islamists’ or high-profile murderers.
He told the publication: ‘He’s isolated from all other prisoners, he has no contact.
‘It’s solitary confinement in that he’s not allowed to see any other prisoners, but it’s not like in HMP Onley… here, he’s allowed half an hour on the exercise bike, the prison governor himself visits once a day, he has a medical once a day, he’s not being starved.’
It was also reported by Breitbart News that Robinson was looking ‘much healthier’ as he came towards the end of his stint at Belmarsh.
The prison houses convicted terrorists and murderers, and people convicted of serious crimes, including black cab rapist John Worboys.
Belmarsh is a Category A prison and houses a number of convicted terrorists, or people convicted of terror related offences
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is also being held there as the US attempts to extradite him for hacking offences.
In his contempt of court hearing Robinson claimed he did not believe he was breaching reporting restrictions when he filmed the suspects on trial over the sexual exploitation of young girls.
The reporting ban in place postponed the publication of any details about the case until the end of a series of linked trials involving 29 defendants.
He broadcast the footage from outside Leeds Crown Court on in May 2018 while the jury in the second trial was considering its verdict.
Demonstrators supporting Tommy Robinson declared he was a ‘political prisoner’ at a protest in August
Pro-Robinson supporters marched part-way down Oxford Street and Regent Street at protests last month
The video was viewed online 250,000 times after being live-streamed on Facebook.
Dame Victoria Sharp, sitting alongside Mr Justice Warby, ruled Robinson had breached the reporting restriction by live-streaming the video and by ‘aggressively confronting and filming’ some of the defendants.
Dame Victoria told Robinson that ‘nothing less than a custodial penalty would properly reflect the gravity of the conduct we have identified’.
She also said he had ‘lied about a number of matters’ and that he had wrongly ‘sought to portray himself as the victim of unfairness and oppression’.
His sentencing sparked violent protests as supporters hurled smoke bombs and attacked a BBC camera crew.
Hundreds of far-right supporters then started an unplanned march through London’s streets towards the Houses of Parliament.
In August, his supporters and anti-Robinson demonstrators had to be kept apart by police during more protests in central London.
Timeline of the Tommy Robinson contempt of court case
May 25, 2018: Robinson is jailed for 13 months for contempt of court after Facebook Live protest outside a trial in Leeds.
May 27, 2018: Sentence sparks protests in London including outside Downing Street.
July 18, 2018: Robinson launches appeal.
August 1, 2018: Judges order his release and say he must face new hearing.
September 27, 2018: A new contempt of court case at the Old Bailey is adjourned after Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC asks for written submissions from all parties.
October 19, 2018: The Huddersfield grooming case is fully reported after the conclusion of all the trials.
October 23, 2018: After considering submissions, judge says case is ‘too complex’ and evidence must be considered by Attorney General.
March 7, 2019: Attorney General decides the case should be reheard.
May 14, 2019: High Court judges rule he will face new contempt of court proceedings
July 5, 2019: Robinson is found guilty of contempt of court
July 11, 2019: Robinson is jailed for nine months for contempt of court. Because of time previously served, his sentence was reduced to 27 weeks – and he would have to serve half before being released
September 13 2019: Robinson is released from Belmarsh prison after serving nine weeks